As G.W. Graham secondary prepares to make the jump from AAA to quad-A sports, the school is investing in its student athletes.
A room on the second floor of the existing building is being renovated into a varsity athletics/physical education training centre that will be outfitted with 30 spin bikes and five Olympic weightlifting stations.
“Our school is looking to be super-proactive in our post-COVID launch,” said GWG athletics director Jake Mouritzen. “This year, students and staff lost so much, and now that we seem to be moving in a good direction, everyone in this building is trying to make sure we’re ready to jump out of COVID full speed.
“This is going to allow us to train full teams and full classes at the same time. We’re also bringing in a set of heart-rate monitors and we’re going to start to look more at the science of training. The goal as always is to try to get one per cent better every day.”
While the workout area above the main gymnasium will remain open to all students, the new space will be designated for the use of students who are involved with the school’s sports teams, sport-specific classes and strength and conditioning program.
Mouritzen said this will actually create opportunities for students who aren’t part of a varsity team but have expressed an interest in fitness.
“Kids who aren’t student athletes or don’t have a background in life-long exercise have had an opportunity to discover the existing weight room during COVID,” he noted. “Now we’ll have a new place for our elite athletes to train while still having that space for any student to find that passion for the weight room and explore healthy life-long habits.”
The training centre is one half of the puzzle. The other half is Matt Chapdelaine, who will be working with GWG.
Mouritzen connected with the founder and head coach of Theorem Performance & Lifestyle through UFV women’s basketball coach Al Tuchscherer. Mouritzen said the former college and university football player has a long history of training elite-level athletes and will be crafting sport-specific plans for all of GWG’s athletes.
“He will be our developer and consultant for this new program,” Mouritzen explained. “He’s going to be developing off-season and in-season strength and conditioning plans for all of our main sports. Each sport will have its own training program, with core movements and sport-specific movements, and all its coaches will be trained in that program.
Chapdelaine is developing those training regimes now and in June he’ll be coming in house to do workshops/seminars.
“We are super grateful for the partnership with Matt and he’s super excited to be working with us,” Mouritzen said. “This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time and we haven’t had the space until now.
“This is another step in us providing elite-level student athlete opportunities.”